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Divisions within us, Part 7 in the series “On the Edge”

November 23, 2017 2 comments

This is part 7 of my series which started HERE with the Introduction and Index for the series, “On the Edge”, a perspective on our times.

Divisive Culture, Part 7 in the series “On the Edge” | Engagement – a point of view

In the days before Social Media, the majority of the news came from Mass Media, such a Television, Newspapers and Magazines … but through mass media, we are exposed only to the perspective of these media companies, especially when it comes to their opinion on the events concerned. The is a passive relationship, between the media company and the reader, as there is no conversation normally possible.

 

 

Social Media on the other hand offers us the ability to engage and project our own beliefs providing many different perspectives on the same event … some credible, some manipulative, some fake, others plain delusional – although it can be said that the divisions in society were already there …. The media, fake news and social media, opens the “sore” so to speak, creates more as well as exacerbating divisions – Social Media, particularly Facebook, seems to operate by exploiting human failings, one of the outcomes is that it dramatically polarises society for or against an issue – there are too few seeking to find something that approaches the true situation, for we must seek to find credibility in these resources and not just accept them without examination, just because they agree with our beliefs, our own confirmation bias. However social media also has a negative side … that is being exploited.

We have those perspectives from alternative media that feed into and manipulate the fears of their readership … proposing such theories that project Condemnation, conspiracy theories and blame (Like Governments who almost always blame a minority in the population) and straight out projection of personal beliefs, as always assumptions based on beliefs are dangerous ground for organisations which are meant, well hypothetically meant to factually report the news.

This is important I feel .. if you have any questions of concerns about the veracity of information you are receiving via the internet and particularly Social Media …. ask yourself the following questions ..

1. Who is writing the stories? – is the source credible .. though that is not always a guarantee of veracity to know if it is true or misinformation, designed to misinform and create divisiveness.

2. Who benefits from these stories? – does a political party or aspect of society benefit from say misinformation contained in the story .. please evaluate the story impartially, not through the primary filter of your political, social or religious beliefs.

3. Who is missing from these stories? The other side, a different perspective on the situation.

4. Verify anything that can be verified in the story, don’t share it or believe it merely because it agrees with your general beliefs or agreeing with your confirmation bias.

The whole concept of conspiracies (real or not) also feeds into our fears and powerlessness, our victim mentality – this can generate frustration and eventually anger and on occasion action to right a perceived wrong, if we don’t let it go or educate ourselves. Those that practise divisiveness and manipulation of the population have been wildly successful, since conspiracy theories, race resentment, Islamophobia, misogyny and other base bigotry, sorry emotions have a significant visceral appeal to ingrained beliefs amongst, those susceptible.

All of the above have the added advantage of diverting focus from the real and present problems in a society or culture.

Why people don’t look at peoples actions as what the true expression of who they are as people that they respect is quite beyond me .. those that vote for a certain party, because their Daddy did or they always have show a true lack of intelligent curiosity, however that comment is in itself a stereotype and hopefully will prove me wrong when people let go of these beliefs and move outside their safe beliefs and bubbles and reclaim their political power.

Social media is essentially about engagement, the creation of a relationship, the act of choosing who we wish to engage with and “disengaging” with those we don’t creates a bubble of people with like-minded beliefs … we don’ have to engage with those we don’t wish to. Hence we are not open to the opinions of others, their perspectives which may be creative and what’s more factual and therefore true – but we have little tolerance and it seems no empathy for others and their point of view or where they find themselves in the world, this choice further exacerbates divisions.

One cannot help to form the opinion that Paywalls installed by News organisations is an issue that is harming the ready availability of information and news. It may be a major reason for fake news.

Social Media

What will be the shape of society and culture in the future, this may be determined primarily by the economy at this time, but also how society relates to itself … and how we relate and engage with others.

We can look at countries that are a major influence on culture such as the USA which is or should I say was a trendsetter, a leader, now sadly it appears to be one of the most severely divided country of any …. It is hugely polarised, a country where people when they first meet after introducing themselves describe themselves, by including their Political affiliation … I found this many times in my recent trip to the USA …. This for someone from outside of America is odd and incredibly unusual. Depending on their political beliefs are people saying “beware”, it is almost setting the conversation that may come for possible conflict and blame.

Too few organisations actually just report the news … instead we have an opinion provided by the organisation, which is often the perspective from someone, they project their views (or the ownership’s views) onto us … too often that perspective is partisan, corrupt, wrong or manipulative.

Years ago, when I understood the concept of Social Media … I felt it would be a wonderful way to engage with the world, to build communities, to understand the world and to engage with Politicians to help keep them accountable. However the dark side has become ever present … along with the issue that there is no one in charge, it has become a harbinger or darkness through the worst of flawed behaviours that humans can generate.

Implications

We live in a culture that project their beliefs (in many cases uniformed, biased or bigoted ) onto others … in this way people set themselves up as a “better” person, a more moral, more aware … but we do not build a society only on morals we primarily build it on ethics … for people who criticise or attack others this doesn’t change the target of their attacks, it does change who we believe these people are who project their beliefs … they may be so empty or angry that they need to put others down to make them feel better – our western society seems largely built on ego driven desires, selfishness, ignorance and fear… this alone will mean that Twitter, Facebook and the like will thrive …. With Trolls, those broadly speaking people who wish to punish, blame and ridicule others .. all this means their anonymous behaviour in the most part ideal for Social Media as they are generally not held accountable, although that it changing.

From Neil Perkin, a current topic as below … a perspective

We live in a culture that loves to blame the victim. Women who report sexual abuse, sexual assault, and/or sexual harassment are perfect targets for those who would blame the victim. Even beyond all of the comments we could make about society working to protect the status quo of a male dominated culture there are psychological payoffs to blaming the victim. Blaming the victim helps us avoid that reality where horrible things can happen to any of us at almost any time. If we can blame the victim we can believe we have the power to avoid being a victim because we are smarter, wiser, more moral, and more careful.

Victim blaming seems to take one of two main forms with infinite variations. The first form is denial. “She is lying.” “It did not happen.” “It did not happen like that.” This provides instant comfort because the bad thing simply did not happen. The second form can be far more subtle and involves the victim being responsible for their own victimization. This blaming involves all of the wonderful suggestions such as “why was she there,” “why didn’t she just leave,” “why didn’t she just say no.” Often these also go with the high moral judgment of “I would have never.” Blaming the victim can be very seductive. However, doing so simply perpetuates and even fuels the problem.

The flaw here in that hindsight and anonymity that the internet provides is a woeful perspective, it is not in any shape reality, the unconscious, flawed behaviour of those that ridicule, blame and condemn, rarely have had the experience in question, they comment to enhance themselves – but they have no idea of the situation that confronted this person … the reality is that Condemning others does not liberate, it oppresses.

Personas

What we see generally of a “person” on social media is a persona that is created for the medium … we rarely see the person, hence although we use the internet through one of its strengths, in building relationships, sharing our thoughts and information … but it this happening? …. I would refer to this extract that discusses communities from Gizmodo.

Community

“…the price we pay for having more personal freedom is that we lose social cohesion on the larger scale. We become less committed to our neighbours and each other. If we are to survive in the global village, we must somehow find a way to recreate that sense of community.”

I can see this point, but I do wonder about the true impact of technology in all this.

The formation of collaborative groups has become easier than ever as it is the strength of the internet, for technology is so effective at bringing people together. Yet we don’t value it, for we have become disconnected from others and to some extent from ourselves… we idealise people who we have never met, hold them to impossible standards and yet fail to nurture and value our closest relationships in the house, in the street, in the community, the country we live in.

We judge … we label … we project … we dismiss … we blame others all to make ourselves feel better about ourselves and the possibility of being better at the experience of others, of that we judge. Through ignorance we do this without understanding what we are talking about …. Fear, selfishness and ignorance are in my view the main reasons in my view the world is in the state it is.

So is technology contributing more toward social fragmentation or cohesion? Do our own limitations, and the increasing mobility that the technology provides means that it is diminishes our sense of community, communication, engagement and belonging.

If we could only look behind the shut gates, the security measures and the closed doors into the hearts of mankind? – a perspective is that our lives sadly are not our own … politicians run a game of fame and attention that projects their emptiness and self-serving agenda onto the minds and lives of humankind. As millennia go by, any number of games of ideals are touted as the answer to mankind …. none have been as they all use the defunct command and control mentality … the ideology of self interest is all about “me”, a lack of compassion and empathy pervades …. hence we play a basic game of follow the leader, sadly there are too few that qualify to lead.

In my opinion, the future will eventually consider a collaborative, co-operative, a form of community consultation … leadership will come from within the group.

Belief and Religion Inspired Intolerance

Religions and Churches, have all exploited the credulity of believers not for some higher good, but to enhance themselves, their power base, influence and income.

Within these Churches, there are true holy men and women, however the trouble with any organisation, and particularly those that sets themselves up to show the way to “God” (however you perceive it) is that it is controlled by mere humans who are not perfect and along with their ego and desires they have taken opportunities through the ages to abuse people and inflict untold murder, abuse and sufferings.

Bigotry and Intolerance are learned behaviours, coming mainly ironically from a lack of education (travel is a great educator) … this lack of education and hence the resulting lack of understanding, empathy or compassion is in my view the main reason for conflict in the world.

Voltaire, had a poor opinion of the Catholic Church in France, as it was the dominant religion at the time, he said the below when he was speaking of the Church whilst he was in England ….

“If there were only one religion, then then Governments would very possibly become arbitrary, two religions and the people would cut each other’s throats, but as there are a multitude, people are happy and live in peace.”

Voltaire statement applies in my view equally to an ideology as to a religion, for they are in many regards a similar thing, an investment in the ideology itself, sadly it is my opinion that too many people become ideologues of religion rather than have faith in it, pray and do good and compassionate work.

All religions and ideologies as well, have their dogma – limiting yourself only to your bubble of beliefs in religions of ideologues, has down through the ages led to the worst in human behaviours.

Before you take what is shown on a web page in social media or elsewhere …. make sure it agrees with you innermost thoughts and values, do be curious and open to the new .. but ensure it is true … find other sources that confirm it … check its veracity. Be careful of confirmation bias.

Think, most of all think …. do not follow dogma … because dogma lessens us, betrays our full potential … don’t follow it just because it is easy … you are unique … make you own way. Steve Jobs had a beautiful empowering thought concerning this …

 

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s
life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of
other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown
out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow
your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want
to become. Everything else is secondary.”

– Steve Jobs

 

When we each create peace within us, only then can we project that peace out onto the world spreading peace and love for all us. … but is it too late for this generation for separation, division, judgement and projection has become for the many, dogma.

Dogma is just someone else’s thoughts, imposed on you, ( there is no guarantee it is right for today, or in fact ever was .. it is just accepted ) think for yourself, create your own path, your own direction, to your own bliss.

My posts are simply my perspective and are offered in the spirit of discovery, exploration and evolution – take what resonates with you and leave the rest.

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Perspective on the aftermath of change …

August 6, 2017 Leave a comment

There are times in our lives when we need solitude, it becomes totally necessary, this can give us the time we need to try and understand the past, the challenge which we were presented with, and we hopefully understand the reason for the challenge in the first place .. and at some point understand, what we have learnt from the experience. This is something that is incredibly personal, and simple … but it only needs to make sense to you, it must be simple, not convoluted, not a conspiracy.  

We do need people in our lives as well …. 

Please bear in mind that God, however you perceive the divine to be, does not judge or punish us, we are totally loved and understood, what I have learnt is that because of our beliefs we punish ourselves …. As others behave towards us … often the perpetrators of these lessons, the others in our lives cannot see the import of what they have done, they do not understand nor it seems care, all they see is something else they desire – their actions do the rest.

For us to be free of their actions and any time in the past, we must forgive them for our own sake, so we are no longer controlled by our past.  After we have conquered the challenge, we grow, we become stronger … more solid in our foundations.

We know that Trust is the foundation of all relationships, without trust, there is nothing …. in my case that was critical to the lesson I learnt, which also led me to understand the nature of love itself, not the conditional kind, this love which I speak is not available to most of us on earth, or should I say in the duality world. So I wait, for that love to come into my life, will it come, I am told it will, in my meditations (but I don’t know) …  one needs to be careful when speaking or listening to our souls, for the soul is in a large way influenced by our spirit, so when speaking of subjects the spirit holds dear, it may be incorrect … as you may also know our Karma is held in our soul … so asking the soul a question can possibly lead to the creation of an illusion …. I keep coming back to this … Accept, stay present and flow … this little phrase is one I have to constantly remind myself of.  I don’t know this, but it feels right that Karma also springs from our past lives and carries forward. As we progress if you are not at peace, fulfilled, or haven’t realized unconditional love, then our true abundant nature may be obscured, it may only be part of the process of spiritual evolution, please do not judge yourself, as I feel we must have faith and take little steps, but just keep moving forward.

 

We lament constantly with the rhetoric that comes from others, from Politicians, the ignorant and the uninformed or those who have – in their mind – the illusion of knowledge …. To be detached from their rhetoric and actions is hard …. But it is their perspective and so long as it is only rhetoric there is little harm to it for you and I …. The problem becomes manifest when issues are constantly regurgitated … it changes the tone of the conversation from being just blame and criticism, often about subjects which we have no influence over, like Trump, about the past, also fear / uncertainty concerning the future  … where constant repetition may bring depression, blame, guilt, shame, fear – frustration and may lead to anger and violence … this is when people stop thinking and act to hurt or destroy… all these are also part of us, but being apparently a victim, can be quite destructive to our consciousness, our self-worth, our sense of self, our strength … because we think we are powerless, when in fact we are the crucible of all power, for we are unlimited, we are the Universe.

 

This is all just a perspective, it has no more value than anyone else’s …. I would welcome your comments and thoughts concerning this. Please note I still have moments with living in the world, like things happening that are unexpected …. I have to also be aware of over thinking anything …. Over thinking in a way is like digging a hole, deeper and deeper … to survive, at some point we have to let go of the past, an event a person and begin again …. It feels so good when we have this realisation and act, for it feels like a great weight has been lifted off our shoulders.

Categories: Uncategorized

A perspective on engagement and people

August 5, 2017 Leave a comment

I find talking to people of like and different minds stretches our boundaries, takes us to places we had not dreamed of, breaks boundaries and brings new perspectives, even on the ordinary. Such was part of the reason I left Australia, I disliked intensely the frenetic, chaotic surface thinking that was the norm ….it was mostly about the self and self-gratification … and sometimes even just about survival, I felt in the environment I was within I could not grow any more …. for this was driven by the last thing I wanted to happen was to be on my veranda when I am 90 and think I should have done this or that, I want no excuses, no regrets. So now I often ask myself what to do, or where to next?

Please try not to limit yourself, the Universe will give us what we need …. I too have financial limitations … when I hit something that looks impossible, I always think, I cannot do this … YET … for your life can and will change in a heart beat …. Who knows what tomorrow will bring. For me to ameliorate such thinking, is to have my plans my goals and move little steps towards them, if for instance you wish to live in Provence in France… then think about a dream board … take baby steps and the pieces will slowly come into place, or an event could happen in your resources that makes it eminently viable.

There is an inverse relationship between faith and fear …. The more faith you have in yourself and the Universe the less you will be fearful …. Great Big Hugs!

The past is only for learning from … it does not define who you are or who you will become, in time, we hopefully forget what hurt us in the past, but never forget what it taught you!

Please … forget how things worked out in the past, for you were doing the best you could at the time – forgive what happened, for when you do you will find true freedom, … next time will be different because you are not that person anymore. Don’t limit yourself, the Universe has plans for you … the pain you have gone through brings us a lesson, at some point understanding this lesson will bring strength, which can bring a purpose … I know I went through what was effectively the same lesson three times, before the last and final one (so far) … that was the basis of so much evolution and growth in my life. I am told by my close friend and former teacher, that these lessons are us working through our Karma with the people concerned, to address our own actions or the learning experience which we have chosen …. One of my lessons was the nature of love, the difference between conditional love and love and the difference between a Cathexis and real love – the word love is such an overused word, that it many conversations it has lost its true meaning …. All these lessons are so subjective, I can only talk about how they affected me, I cannot present this as some sort of dogma, because to start, I am not a fan of dogma, it’s a bit like building a prison … and putting society in it … I don’t believe it is our role as people to generate dogma, or to project our beliefs onto others, but merely to help guide everyone back to their own divinity which they have forgotten for the moment.

We speak of others, lamenting on the countries I have visitied, for say America or other societies, I cannot in any way understand their thinking, or for the many, the lack of it, their insular behaviours examples like Trump who is the epitomy of the Kali Yuga, the worst of humankind, such people are all about the ego, driven by an uncontrolled id (Freud’s model). Don’t judge them for as Jesus said, “for they know not what they do” just accept (not agree) and stay detached, the dogma of the current paradigm and the stalled emphasis of the almost dead consumer society that has created them – frankly no one knows what the next stage of society will be, there is no political direction, so its up to each of us to follow their own path

Just remember that everyone, every soul is in transition, from where they are, and given enough lifetimes, they too will reach the light, or in the case of Buddhism, Buddhahood.

Many times, of Twitter I have been accosted by some who have a different view than mine, sometimes abusive, I don’t enter into a discussion, because one must realise that we cannot change someone’s beliefs, (this they must do for themselves) – some are there on Twitter purely for their own ego, to tear someone down to enhance their own faltering ego and emptiness …. engagement with such souls is pointless. My response is usually “Thank you for your perspective”.

You may have an internal witness, if not as yet you will in this life or another … this entity acts to empower us, to allow us a different perspective on our thoughts, to question thoughts that come from desire, from the egomind, from our past and our “what is” – (in my case, it acts to tear away or question the internal fears and erroneous beliefs) that the normal subjective self-judgement would allow us.

When we master the art of staying present, still often we have to remind ourselves that the way to treat this thought, this circumstance is to be mindful, be present in the moment – that reminder to myself was and still is on occasion, a revelation.

The Yugas

According to the Mahabharata a Hindu epic scripture (the Bhagavad Gita, in only one part of it), there are four ages of truth ….. We are currently in the Kali-Yuga the last, the darkest and most corrupt of the ages – the attributes (?) of this age are all around us. At the end of this age, the dregs of mankind will be removed and we start again at the Satya Yuga, the Golden age. Needless to say, we will not be in these bodies when the new age restarts, it is called the Satya Yuga.

To start the first age, the Golden age – that Satya Yuga here – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satya_Yuga

After the Satya Yuga a decline marks the Treta Yuga

After a further decline brings about the Dwapara Yuga

After it comes the final and darkest age the Kali Yuga (now), a time of wickedness, when man kills another man.

For more informed information concerning the aspects of the Kali Yuga itself here and here

An interesting post on the Kali Yuga … The end of the Kali Yuga in 2025: Unravelling the mysteries of the Yuga Cycle – Here

I am sure there are people who spend their life analysing this aspect of Hinduism … know that I am not very knowledgeable in this area. Hence I would offer Sadhguru to explain the science behind the cycle of four yugas, and calculates the timeline since the beginning of the Kali Yuga after the Kurukshetra War. Here

Any thoughts are welcome.

Reader Engagement

February 13, 2017 Leave a comment

This is a repost of a blog post I wrote some 6 years ago .. it is still relevant.

It does not matter how the content gets to you, by what ‘road” or in what form, whether in a library book, a hard copy magazine or newspaper, the web and its various forms of streaming … it has something in common … you have to have interest in the content, it has to engage with you .. and make you want you to focus and read on.

This has always been the case. How often have you picked up a book, looked over a few pages, and discarded it. Why ? because it did not engage with you, watched a movie, switched channels, went to sleep or worse still, walked out of a theatre .. or reading a web page and thought , no .. and moved on … read a Twitter stream and nothing, you either clicked good bye or went looking for content that you can relate to, regardless of how the content is delivered to you, how you view it or engage with it, it has to value you and engage with you as a person.

The platform, how the content is delivered has little to do with it … it is the content that keeps you on the blog, and brings you back to it, always the content.

Categories: Uncategorized

Microsoft Outlook 2011 for Mac – a poor experience!

August 7, 2015 1 comment

This is a change from my usual fare … however I felt that this was worth a mention. Recently my Windows laptop started to give trouble … it started to overheat and despite having it serviced and likely areas of concern checked and repaired (like heat sinking, fans etc) no cause could be identified, hence it was time to consider a replacement. I was curious when I investigated options, and thought that I would experiment, hence I bought a MacBook Pro … the reason being that my son has one and has always sworn by it .. I always like to challenge myself, so an experiment had begun.

Overall the Mac is a revelation, it is well integrated, more so than the equivalent Windows device.

I installed much of the same equivalent software from Windows and secured Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac … although Excel and Word appear to work as expected … Outlook 2011 for Mac is a disaster … it is a very poor facsimile of the equivalent Windows Product… I wished they had not called it Outlook, because then I would not have installed it.

It has almost none of the features of the Windows version, it is over-priced for it is just a very simple unsophisticated email client, even looking forward to the new Outlook 2016 offering it doesn’t seem to be much of an improvement, so the outcome for me, is that it has damaged the brand that is Microsoft severely.

So now I am looking for a halfway decent email client to replace it … though not much luck so far.

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Writing a Healing Journal

February 14, 2015 Leave a comment

Writing meditation is an exercise that I have used on many occasions – The purpose is to help direct our mind to change our behavior, by understanding the causality of that behaviour.

The way I have understood it is that any challenge we have undergone, in the past or even a current challenge is often not understood at a feeling level – because we are face to face with it.

Hence by writing we can forge a connection between the conscious mind and that part of our mind that houses feelings. Now do correct me if I am wrong but feelings are placed in the mind in the mammalian brain, referred to as the Limbic system … its where feelings are, it where all decisions are made … so I have found by writing every day we gradually form a link between the feeling part of the mind and the rational mind … we convert the feelings into something we can understand … we have to do this as the Limbic system does not have language hence, we have to understand its messages another way …. gradual and regular journal writing did that for me, perhaps it can do it for you?

Gradually over time, we form a link between the parts of the brain and will understand that a frustration we might be feeling may be something like a past regret, a depression or some level of anxiousness about something in the future …the quickest way to start to understand this is to say …. if you are feeling depressed or shameful then the event you are thinking about occurred in the past. If you are feeling fearful or anxious then the event you are concerned about will occur in the future.

Many of the common feelings come from fear … control comes from fear, aggression comes from fear … even conformity is based on control which comes from fear, there can also be fear that non-conformity will hinder us in attaining their goals or being accepted … Governments love it, but conformity is a pipe dream as it is quite unattainable.

Take a few minutes a day … find a quiet place and start writing …

I have found that after about a week of being quiet and writing, you will find yourself becoming more in tune with your feelings, you will become calmer … this can help with your day to day relationships —- My experience is that the changes in your understanding and behaviour will take place without any conscious effort, no matter how old, or what has happened in the past in the normal course of your life, writing a journal will literally calm and begin to bring a greater understanding to your life in just a matter of a few weeks.

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Seagate Hard Drives

January 21, 2015 Leave a comment

This is not the usual content for this site, and I suppose this is a little subjective … but here goes … for years I used Seagate drives and Hitachi (formerly IBM ) drives ….

After the failure of a batch of Seagate drives I thought I would do a comparison …

Exactly 54 weeks ago, I bought the following drives at the same time … used in the same way, stationary on a desktop as a general backup drive.

Qty One Seagate Expansion Disk Backup drive  – 2 TB capacity  USB 3.0

Qty one Aldi (Supermarket) Disk Backup drive – 1 TB Capacity  USB 3.0
All seemed well then exactly 53 weeks, the Seagate drive failed … it just stopped … one week after warranty expired.

The Aldi drive which was cheaper than the Seagate, but is still going strong ….

Some investigations I have done showed the general failure rate of Hitachi and Western Digital Drives in between 1 and 3%

… the failure rate for Seagate drives in over 9% peaking over 13% …

I just thought that this was worth sharing … I guess the learning experience for me .. is what good is a backup drive that fails on such a high and regular basis … taking with it important files…at the end of the day, Seagate though cheaper, followed the old adage that you get what you pay for …

Needless to say I will not be buying Seagate or any of their brand names … no matter how cheap they are.

For an unbiased view point on drives see here http://www.pcworld.com/article/2089464/three-year-27-000-drive-study-reveals-the-most-reliable-hard-drive-makers.html

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